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Udderbelly Festival

Our guide to the south bank's summer-long comedy, cabaret and circus festival

What is the Udderbelly Festival?

Ever wondered what that giant purple cow grazing behind the London Eye is? It's the Udderbelly! Each summer the 400-seat temporary venue provides a vast array of entertainment, from outlandish cabaret to daytime children's shows and the biggest selection of comedy in London.

Beside the big moo is a large outdoor bar and selection of upmarket food stalls which can be enjoyed without a ticket. Plus, next to the upturned cow is another temporary venue – the London Wonderground – a huge spiegel tent playing host to circus, cabaret and much more. What better way to spend the summer?

When is the Udderbelly Festival?

The Udderbelly Festival runs April 7-July 17 2016.
The London Wonderground runs from May 5-September 25 2016.

What sort of thing can I expect?

People telling jokes and being funny, more or less. Pus lots of circus and cabaret acts. Don't believe us? Here's a highlights package from Time Out Live's opening gala in 2013.

Tickets for this year's Udderbelly Festival are available online here or by phoning 08445 458252.

To get to the Udderbelly Festival, take the Bakerloo, Northern or Jubilee line to Waterloo, take the south bank exit, follow signs to the Southbank Centre, turn left just before Hungerford Bridge and you'll see the Udderbelly on your left in Jubilee Gardens.

Udderbelly Festival's address is: Jubilee Gardens, off Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX.

See the best of Udderbelly 2016

Abandoman – Life + Rhymes

Incredible hip-hop improv team Abandoman just keep getting better and better. The multi-award winning troupe duo – made up of Rob Broderick and James Hancox – create off-the-cuff raps and songs from a handful of audience suggestions with astonishing results, and each year their show has a different format, theme or narrative running through it. They're taking up residency at the Udderbelly with their latest hit, 'Life + Rhymes'.

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Udderbelly , South Bank Wednesday June 1 2016 - Sunday June 5 2016

Adam Buxton's Best of Bug

Adam Buxton aka Dr Buckles aka half of 'Adam & Joe' hosts his wonderfully good fun gig which brings big-screen exposure to the most innovative, awe-inspiring and downright brilliant music videos in the world. In between the music, Buxton plays a few of his own silly vids and reads out ridiculously funny YouTube comments. 

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Udderbelly , South Bank Thursday May 12 2016

Nina Conti – In Your Face

Critics' choice

In tandem with cheeky partner-in-crime Monkey, London stand-up Nina Conti has helped resurrect a dying comic art with her jaw-dropping ventriloquism skills. In the process, she’s stormed the BBC’s ‘Live at the Apollo’, played to sold out theatres and earned a Bafta nomination for documentary ‘Her Master’s Voice'. In her latest (largely improvised) show, the British Comedy Award winner slaps a dummy’s mouth on to unsuspecting audience members and turns them into her puppets. It’s one way of dealing with hecklers, I suppose.

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Udderbelly , South Bank Monday June 13 2016 - Tuesday June 14 2016

Trygve Wakenshaw – Nautilus

Critics' choice

Back for another run at the Soho Theatre, and a one-off show at the Udderbelly Festival, Trygve Wakenshaw's 'Nautilus' is a ridiculously funny, hugely inventive 75-minutes of clowning and mime, with a subtle vegan message behind his propless (and largely wordless) skits. Wakenshaw's other shows – 'Squidboy' and the childlike stream-of-consciousness hour 'Kraken' – have both been huge hits, but 'Nautilus' is his most accessible offering yet: it's a proper sketch show, with returning characters and clever ideas, and it's flawlessly performed. A magical show from a star talent.

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Southbank Centre , South Bank Saturday May 14 2016

Hal Cruttenden

Middle-class hero, struggling everyman and 'Live at the Apollo' star Hal Cruttenden returns to the Udderbelly. Book early!

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Udderbelly , South Bank Saturday May 21 2016
The best of Udderbelly 2016